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Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta: People suffer when their bishops don't pray

During his Friday morning homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis suggested that a bishop's primary responsibilities are to pray and to preach salvation. He referred to them as the pillars of the Church.

POPE FRANCIS

"If these columns are weakened because the bishop does not pray or prays little, forgets to pray; or because the bishop does not announce the Gospel and instead takes care of other things, the Church also weakens; it suffers. God's people suffer. Because the columns are weak.�

The Pope added that without bishops, the Church "doesn't work.� Therefore, it's important for lay Catholics to pray for their bishops as well.

EXTRACTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY

(Source: Vatican Radio)

"We bishops have this responsibility to be witnesses: witnesses to the fact that the Lord Jesus is alive, that the Lord Jesus is risen, that the Lord Jesus walks with us, that the Lord Jesus saves us, that the Lord Jesus gave his life for us, that the Lord Jesus is our hope, that the Lord Jesus always welcomes us and forgives us. Giving witness. Our life must be this: a testimony. True witness to the Resurrection of Christ.�

"The first task of a bishop is to be with Jesus in prayer. The first job of a bishop is not to prepare pastoral plans ... no, no! Prayer: this is the first task. The second task is to be a witness, that is, to preach. To preach the salvation that the Lord Jesus has brought. Two tasks that are not easy, but it is precisely these two tasks that are the strong pillars of the Church. If these columns are weakened because the bishop does not pray or prays little, forgets to pray; or because the bishop does not announce the Gospel and instead takes care of other things, the Church also weakens; it suffers. God's people suffer. Because the columns are weak.�

"The Church without the bishop doesnâ??t work," said the Pope. Therefore, we must all pray for our bishops, he concluded, as an "obligation of love, an obligation of children in reverence to the Father, an obligation of brothers so that the family remains united in its witness to Jesus Christ, living and risen.â?

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